The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Boutique breweries win big at New World Beer & Cider Awards

rsz_screen_shot_2016-04-11_at_105544_amThe debates have raged, the discussions have been passionate and some tough decisions have been made and finally, New World is delighted to announce the results of the 2016 Beer & Cider Awards.

The Best in Class winners are:

Pale Ale – Epic Pale Ale

IPA – Epic Armageddon IPA

European-style Ale  – Sparks Brewing Prospector Farmhouse Ale

British-style Ale – Emerson’s Bookbinder

American-style Ale – Garage Project Los Lobos

Lager – Steinlager Pure

Pilsner – Tuatara Bohemian Pilsner

Wheat & Other Grain Beer – Moa Southern Alps White IPA

Stout, Porter & Black Beer – Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout

Experimental, Aged, Fruit & Flavoured Beer – Kereru Imperial Nibs

Lower Alcohol & Session Beer – Peroni Leggera

Apple & Pear Cider – The Hills Cider Company Pear Cider

Fruit & Flavoured Cider – Good George Brewing Doris

Each of the 458 different beers and ciders from 83 brewers across 13 categories were blind judged in a marathon two-day process by a 15-strong independent panel of beer and cider experts.  Each entry was judged and assessed on its merits using a collaborative approach to evaluate qualities such as technical excellence, balance and, most-importantly, drinkability.   Overall 40 Gold Medals were awarded, with 13 taking home the overall “Best in Class” award.

Chair of the independent judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson, said the quality of entries overall was outstanding and there is no doubt New Zealand breweries were producing world-class brews. “The range of award winners is testament to the strength of the industry. Best in Class winners include beers that have set a benchmark in quality for nearly a decade such as Epic Pale Ale, Tuatara Bohemian Pilsner or Emerson’s Bookbinder, as well as newcomers like Sparks Brewing Prospector Farmhouse Ale or Eagle Brewing Coalface Stout.

“It shows the quality we’ve come to expect from established breweries has not diminished, while the fact relative newcomers are able to reach award-winning standards in such a short time is a reflection of the growing maturity of the industry.”

Donaldson said the awards offered something for everyone – from traditionalists who might prefer Steinlager Pure to hop-heads who would love Garage Project’s Los Lobos, to dessert-lovers who might opt to experiment with Kereru’s decadent Imperial Nibs. “The awards help take people out of their traditional comfort zone and give consumers the confidence to try new styles and brands.

“We often find a drink we like and stick with it, but there is so much to explore in this burgeoning industry and the list of award-winners is a great place to start – it’s a treasure trove of exciting and innovative beer and cider.

“Most importantly, no matter what their preference or personal taste, New World customers can purchase a Gold Medal winner and know they are going to sample something special.”

In order to be eligible to enter the New World Beer & Cider Awards the only criteria were that the beer or cider is available in cans or bottles, and brewers can deliver sufficient stock to meet customer demands.

Steve Anderson, Managing Director, Foodstuffs New Zealand says, “Our beer industry is one of the best in the world and New World is proud to support it.  Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their choice of drink and are highly responsive to new innovations in brewing.

“We are delighted to be able to give our shoppers access to such fantastic award-winning brews, but we know from previous experience there is always a huge demand for winning beers and ciders, so customers will need to get in store quick.”